Let’s get to the basics shall we? There is no reason why a non hairstylist/colorist should know this but I’m beginning to believe that there are lots of hairstylists that don’t know or remember the basics of bleaching hair.
There are 7 stages of undertone*that the hair goes through before it becomes a pale yellow or platinum.
How dark your hair is naturally determines this. For instance if you start at a natural level 5 with an under tone of red.
You will have 4 to 5 stages to go through to achieve a pale blonde.
It is important that you don’t do your bleaching process aggressively. If you are going from very dark to very light a good rule of thumb is that you don’t do more than 4 levels of lightening in one step. Shampoo the hair making sure there are no traces of the bleach left over.
This will leave you with an in-between tone of orange or yellow.
I suggest that you leave it like this without toning it. If you tone it you will be adding artificial pigment that you’ll have to bleach out again later on and that makes the process more damaging. After your first bleaching your scalp will be tender so I recommend that you wait a full 24 hours without shampooing again before you continue the process.
From the orange stage (without any toner added) you may be able to get to yellow or pale yellow in one more bleaching. (Sometimes the orange and yellow stages take more time to get through and may require one more bleaching)
Even though this end tone is yellow or pale yellow, in order to make it a suitable soft pale blonde you will have to add a toner. The shade of this toner will be depends on which shade of blonde you desire.
Now say you’re starting at a level 6 with an undertone of orange. You may be able to get away with one bleaching process. But if you don’t get to yellow or pale yellow in one bleaching do the same process as listed above. This is a very straight forward process if your starting with virgin hair. That means hair with absolutely no added hair color on it. If you’re doing the blonding process with previously colored hair that will make the process more intricate and will require full disclosure of everything done to your hair in the consultation.
Consistency is the key to keeping a beautiful healthy looking blonde. Changing the tone or shade too often can result in hair breakage which may require a shorter style.
Please take care when thinking about going platinum and PLEASE do not do it yourself. This should always be done by a professional.
*the underlying tone of the hair is red orange.